Teen girls charged over Qld balcony death
Two teenage girls allegedly filmed and egged on the brutal assault and torture of two men in a Gold Coast apartment before a Brisbane teen plunged to his death trying to escape.
The girls, aged 15 and 16 from Coomera, were charged on Thursday with the murder, robbery, deprivation of liberty and torture of Cian English, 19, in Surfers Paradise on May 23.
The Queensland Police inspector in charge of the investigation expressed his dismay at the alleged events leading up to Mr English's death, saying "it's about time the community said enough is enough".
The girls were part of a gang who allegedly invited Mr English and a friend, both of whom were staying in the same building, to party with them in their apartment.
It is alleged the gang used drugs with the Brisbane teen and his friend before turning on the pair in an attempted robbery.
Police allege Mr English and his friend were tortured for up to 30 minutes and filmed by the two girls, who uploaded the video to social media.
"These girls were actively at the scene. Legislation allows people to be charged with being a party to an offence," Detective Inspector Brendan Smith told reporters.
"The girls videoed the incident and the torture on the boys, both English and his friend, and they took no active step. It's clear they were actively encouraging it," he alleged.
"We will be alleging they have seen him go over the verandah.
"They have looked down and seen he is obviously deceased and then they have stolen clothing off another unconscious male on the verandah."
Insp Smith challenged the mindset of some young people, particularly in regard to how they post on social media, saying attitudes need to change.
"It really is beyond belief these people behave like this," he said.
Police have also charged three men - Jason Ryan Knowles, 22, Hayden Paul Kratzmann, 20, and Lachlan Paul Soper-Lagas, 18 - with Mr English's murder.
The trio has already faced court and all remain in custody.
Mr English's body was discovered at the base of the apartment complex at View Avenue last month.
Police said he had superficial stab wounds to his chin and arm and was trying to escape when he fell to his death.
"It is not just physical torture but emotional torture," Insp Smith said.
"They have been robbed at knifepoint, and assaulted and attacked on a number of occasions, unable to escape the surroundings and that would play on your mindset and also the physical aspects of the torture as well."
Insp Smith also said knife-related incidents were on the rise on the Gold Coast.
"For some reason, they (young people) think it is cool to have that gangster mindset and they have got to carry a knife to be cool," he said.
"It takes other kids to go, 'Hey, don't do this. You are an idiot'. We need to change the mindset that it is cool to carry a knife."
The two girls appeared in a children's court on Thursday, each charged with one count of murder, one count of stealing, two counts of robbery, two counts of torture and two counts of deprivation of liberty.